Chinese automotive company Qoros is getting ready to launch full production of its first car, the 3 Sedan and will showcase both its sedan and a hybrid concept at the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show.
The Qoros 3 Sedan, which is entering a pre-production development phase after two summers and two winters of testing, is due to be launched in China in the second half of 2013, with first European sales following later in the year.
The launch of further Qoros models is then planned at intervals of approximately six months. The crossover hybrid concept gives hints as to the direction of said future models.
To be produced in a new assembly plant in Changshu, China, the range of Qoros models is being designed and engineered, according to Qoros, by an international team of experienced specialists and new, young automotive talent, and has been developed with the support of internationally-renowned suppliers such as Magna Steyr, TRW, Continental, Bosch, Getrag, Benteler, Lear, Microsoft, Harman, Neusoft-Alpine and Iconmobile.
Qoros said its models will feature an infotainment system which the company considers unique in the automotive field. Featuring an eight-inch capacitive touchscreen, the system was developed in-house by Qoros with displays designed for minimal driver distraction, replacing the array of switches and buttons that blight many modern car interiors. The system features advanced navigation, social networking connectivity and the ability for drivers to monitor their car’s health and, for example, to book dealer service appointments.
Alongside the first production model from Qoros, the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show also sees the unveiling of the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept. This crossover model is said to feature a compact hatchback body and an advanced hybrid drivetrain.
The Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept features a hybrid drive system developed in partnership with electric drive systems specialist American Axle.
A three-cylinder 1.2-liter turbocharged petrol engine with producing 97 kilowatts (130 horsepower) is installed transversely at the front driving the front wheels.
A 50-kilowatt electric motor is located in the back, between the luggage compartment floor and the rear axle. The electric motor is powered by a LG Chem lithium-ion battery with a maximum capacity of 1.9 kilowatt-hours.
A second electric motor – the Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) – is mounted between the petrol engine and the transmission. Its role, as well as to start the gas engine more discreetly than a traditional starter motor, is to charge the rear electric motor’s dedicated battery so that the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept can operate continuously in all-wheel drive mode.
During the most demanding driving, the ISG delivers additional power to the front axle.
Intelligent control software ensures seamless transition between petrol-engine front-wheel drive, electric motor rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive, depending on the most efficient mode to respond to the driver’s inputs and the prevailing road conditions.
In theory, the Qoros 3 Cross Hybrid Concept can be driven in pure-electric mode at a speed of up to 120 km/h (75 mph), and for a maximum range of approximately 2.5 miles (Qoros’ provisional target, not yet verified).
Qoros 3 Sedan
Two four-cylinder 1.6-liter gasoline engines will be available at the launch of the Qoros 3 Sedan in China, both of which feature VVT (variable valve timing). The naturally-aspirated unit delivers an output of 93 kilowatt (126 horsepower) and 155 Nm maximum torque. The turbocharged version offers 115 kilowatt (156 horsepower) and 210 Nm maximum torque. Both engines are linked to a six-speed manual transmission as standard, with an optional six-speed dual clutch transmission available for both.
A stop-start system will be available from launch.
“With the support of AVL, Qoros is also developing a new three-cylinder 1.2-liter turbocharged engine and an all-new four-cylinder 1.6-liter turbocharged engine, both with GDI (gasoline direct injection). These engines will deliver highly competitive performance and efficiency,” comments Klaus Schmidt, Executive Director of Vehicle Engineering, who was formerly a senior manager at BMW M-Power.
Founded in 2007, Qoros describes itself as an equal joint venture partnership between Chery Automobile, China’s biggest independent automotive manufacturer, and Israel Corporation, a global industrial holding company.
Qoros is headquartered in Changshu, a region of great importance to China’s rapidly expanding automotive industry, where construction of its all-new, highly-efficient and environmentally-sustainable production facility is nearing completion.
“The factory has an initial annual production capacity of 150,000 units, with potential for expansion to 450,000 units,” explains Alexander Wortberg, Qoros’ Director of Production (also a former BMW employee).
Qoros operates an engineering centre in Shanghai, which is also the company’s base for many commercial and purchasing functions. Further operations are located in Munich (Germany) and Graz (Austria).